WASHINGTON -- Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages ticked up this week but are still low by historical standards, a trend that has helped the housing market recover.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average on the 30-year loan rose to 4.39 percent from 4.31 percent last week. Rates are a full percentage point higher than in early May.
The average on the 15-year fixed loan increased to 3.43 percent from 3.39 percent last week. Rates spiked in June after the Federal Reserve indicated it could slow its bond purchases later this year.
But on Wednesday the Fed hinted it might hold off because the economy remains sluggish. And it noted for the first time that mortgage rates, which have fueled home sales, "have risen somewhat" from record lows.